Eye on American Book Cover Art

Courtesy of Richard Minsky

Aboard the Mavis by Richard Markham, published in New York by Dodd, Mead and Company, n.d., © 1880. Printed paper over quarter cloth boards.

Coming up this Saturday at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, book artist Richard Minsky is presenting a Zoom talk, Modernism in American Book Cover Art, 1872-1930. Minsky has been collecting, studying, and writing books about decorative book covers for more than a decade.

The talk was planned in conjunction with the exhibition, Transforming the Ordinary: Women in American Book Cover Design, currently on view at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine. As its subtitle suggests, the exhibition focuses on female book designers of the 1890s-1930s, including Margaret Armstrong, Amy Sacker, Bertha Stuart, Sarah Wyman Whitman, and the Decorative Designers. Another related event, a Zoom lecture by exhibition organizer Angela Waldron on July 29 at 5:30 p.m., will focus on these women and their creations.

Drawn primarily from the Farnsworth Library’s collection, Transforming the Ordinary is open — yes, open! — and will run through March 21, 2021.